Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Supes Approve Bay Trail EIR, Eucalyptus Removal but Leave Possibility of Saving the Trees

Posted By on Tue, Jul 31, 2018 at 12:29 PM

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The Humboldt County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today, with Supervisor Rex Bohn absent, to approve an environmental impact report for the completion of the Humboldt Bay Trail that includes the removal of 219 eucalyptus trees along U.S. Highway 101.

But the board’s decision also included a provision to have county staff hire a certified arborist or two to conduct a risk assessment on the trees to determine if there’s a way to keep them and build the new trail without dramatically increasing maintenance costs or county liability.

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Monday, July 30, 2018

After Several Arrests, Logging Protest Planned for Thursday

Posted By on Mon, Jul 30, 2018 at 3:21 PM

The Rainbow Ridge area where Humboldt Redwood Co. holds two approved timber harvest plans. - GOOGLE MAPS
  • Google Maps
  • The Rainbow Ridge area where Humboldt Redwood Co. holds two approved timber harvest plans.
A group of environmental activists is planning a protest Thursday in front of the Humboldt Redwood Co.’s Scotia office with the hopes of preventing planned logging activities in the Mattole River watershed.

The protest comes a week after several people were arrested on Humboldt Redwood Co. land in the Rainbow Ridge area of the Mattole River watershed west of Redcrest. The protesters, who erected a logging road blockade, say they are working to protect about 1,100 acres of what they call pristine forest — meaning it hasn’t been logged — primarily consisting of old growth Douglas fir. But a crew from Lear Asset Management, a private security firm, removed the blockade and arrested a total of three protesters July 22 and 23. The protesters allege the security contractors brandished Tasers and used other aggressive tactics that put them in danger.

After another group of protesters briefly chained themselves to an access gate near Rio Dell last week, the group reportedly agreed to stand down after Humboldt Redwood Co. assured them no logging would take place on the property for at least a week.

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Friday, July 27, 2018

Huffman Introduces Massive Public Lands Bill

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 11:46 AM

Jared Huffman. - CONGRESS
  • Congress
  • Jared Huffman.
North Coast Congressman Jared Huffman introduced sweeping public lands legislation today aimed at guarding communities against wildfires and protecting public lands.

The introduction comes about a year after Huffman held community meetings throughout the rural stretches of his district, which allowed him to incorporate input and feedback from a variety of stakeholders, including tourism organizations and recreation groups, restoration specialists and tribes, conservation groups and timber companies, fire ecologists and fisheries scientists.

“From the majestic Smith River to the ancient redwoods and old-growth forests, and the rugged mountains in between, our lands are worth protecting and restoring for future generations to enjoy,” Huffman said in a press release. “Today, some of those landscapes are not fully protected, and others are not managed to their full potential: We can do more to ensure fire resilience, support healthy wildlife, and spur outdoor recreation.”

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As Carr Fire Threatens Redding, 299 Remains Closed, Smoke Advisories Issued

Posted By on Fri, Jul 27, 2018 at 8:20 AM

The Carr Fire has spurred widespread evacuation orders in Redding. - CHP/FACEBOOK
  • CHP/Facebook
  • The Carr Fire has spurred widespread evacuation orders in Redding.
The Carr Fire continues to rage in Shasta County and has forced widespread evacuations in Redding.

The fire, sparked July 23 by the mechanical failure of a vehicle near State Route 299 and Carr Powerhouse Road in Whiskeytown, now spans more than 44,000 acres and is only 3 percent contained. It has killed two people — a firefighter and a private bulldozer operator — destroyed 15 structures and damaged five more. Almost 500 structures are currently threatened, according to CalFire’s most recent update, which warns that these numbers are changing fast and will continue to be updated.

As nearly 2,000 fire personnel continue to battle the blaze and evacuate numerous Redding neighborhoods, State Route 299 remains closed in both directions at the Trinity-Shasta county line. The North Coast Unified Air Quality Management District issued a public service announcement yesterday warning that weather conditions today will cause smoke to pool along river drainages in the north-eastern parts of Del Norte, Humboldt and Trinity counties. On the coast, the district expects air quality to remain “good” to “moderate,” with periods classified as “unhealthy for sensitive groups.”

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Thursday, July 26, 2018

Crabs vs. Ringtails and Rooting for the Other Guy

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 5:45 PM

Crabs celebrate one of their 25 runs on Tuesday night - MATT FILAR
  • Matt Filar
  • Crabs celebrate one of their 25 runs on Tuesday night

Tuesday night’s game was one of the cruelest shellackings I have ever seen in any sport. The Redding Ringtails, obstructed by the Carr fire
currently ravaging the Whiskeytown area, were only able to field nine of their own players. They picked up a 10th body, a young man from Eureka
High School known to the score reporter only as No. 37.

No. 37 played well but was of only minimal help as the Ringtails tallied more errors than hits (five and four respectively) and the Crabs cruised to a 25-0 victory in the first of a two-game series. Our crustaceans scored in seven of eight innings in which they hit, scoring a game-high seven runs in both the fifth and seventh innings, and another six in the fourth.

McCarthy Tatum went 4-6 at the plate, hit a truly gratuitous grand slam (for four of his nine RBIs) and was one double away from hitting for the cycle. Wesley Ghan-Gibson, too, was hot Tuesday night. He went 3-6 and clocked four RBIs of his own. On the other side of the ball, Alex Trautner pitched seven strong innings, striking out 10 batters and only allowing four hits and one walk. His ERA sits at a tidy 1.67. Santiago Cantu came in for the final two innings and secured the shutout.

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Lawmakers' Intervention Prevents Four-Month DMV Closure

Posted By on Thu, Jul 26, 2018 at 4:27 PM

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North Coast lawmakers announced this afternoon that they have prevented — or at least postponed — a months-long closure of the Eureka Department of Motor Vehicles office that was slated to begin in August.

State Sen. Mike McGuire and Assemblymember Jim Wood sent out a joint press release saying they were informed of the DMV’s plans just yesterday but the DMV has since reconsidered, agreeing to postpone the closure and develop a new plan.

“This was a short-sighted proposal that never should have been advanced by the DMV,” McGuire said in a statement. “It is completely unacceptable that the DMV would close an office and ask residents to drive miles upon miles to stand in line for hours to do simple business with the department.”

Wood, meanwhile, referred to the plan as the “straw that broke the camel’s back,” noting that all over the state people are complaining about long DMV wait times. Both lawmakers are pledging to work with the DMV in the coming months to mitigate impacts of any potential closure.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2018

HSU Reaccredited, Urged to do More to Support Diverse Student Body

Posted By on Wed, Jul 25, 2018 at 2:26 PM

FILE
  • FILE
The Western Association of Schools and Colleges has reaffirmed Humboldt State University’s accreditation for another eight years, praising the university’s efforts to diversify its student body, while also recommending it do more to support students of color once they arrive on campus.

In a three-page letter notifying HSU of its re-accreditation, the association’s Senior Commission for Universities and Colleges offers HSU five commendations and six recommendations.

The association says HSU’s recruitment efforts, particularly in the Los Angeles area, are “an appropriate response to the increasing diversity in California” and praises the school’s work to make sure educational objectives are “widely recognized throughout the institution and consistent with stated priorities. Additionally, the letter praises HSU for having programs that give students hands-on learning experiences and foster close connections between students and faculty. The letter also touts HSU’s co-curricular programs, like the Klamath Connection, and its movement toward becoming a data-driven institution that makes evidence-based decisions

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Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Redway Man Killed in Motorcycle Crash

Posted By on Tue, Jul 24, 2018 at 11:40 AM

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A 38-year-old Redway man was killed just before 6 p.m. yesterday when his motorcycle drifted off Briceland Road and hit a tree, according to the California Highway Patrol. He died at the scene.

Brian J. Hemphill was wearing a helmet, officials said in a news release, and the crash remains under investigation. The CHP states that it is currently unknown whether alcohol or drugs were a factor.
This is the county's 18th roadway fatality of 2018.

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Monday, July 23, 2018

State Route 299 Closed at Whiskeytown Lake

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 4:10 PM

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Folks heading east to Redding have a slog ahead of them as State Route 299 is closed indefinitely in Trinity County west of Whiskeytown Lake due to a wildfire.

CalTrans reports that the road is closed westbound at Oak Bottom and eastbound at the junction with State Route 3 near Douglas City. There is no estimated time for reopening and no detours available, so motorists are advised to use an alternate route.


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County Staff: Eucalyptus Removal a Must for Bay Trail

Posted By on Mon, Jul 23, 2018 at 12:27 PM

PUBLIC WORKS MEMO
  • Public Works memo
The Humboldt County Public Works Department is set to tell the Board of Supervisors that moving forward with the Humboldt Bay Trail Project is going to necessitate the removal of more than 200 eucalyptus trees along U.S. Highway 101 north of the old California Redwood Company mill.

While conceding that it received a host of comments urging preservation of the 90-year-old trees in the county’s California Environmental Quality Act review of the project, the department warns it will “recommend termination of the project if the northern group of eucalyptus trees cannot be removed.”

In an 11-page CEQA comment evaluation memo, the department makes the case that the trees would pose a danger to users of the yet-to-be constructed 4.2-mile segment of multi-use trail connecting Eureka and Arcata, as the trail would fall within 10 to 15 feet of the trees, between the railroad tracks and the highway.

“Trail users would be situated within the failure zone of many elevated limbs measuring 6 to 12 inches in diameter and weighing hundreds of pounds,” states the memo, citing the county’s Hazard Tree Plan and the Tree Risk Assessment, which apparently sets the national standard for such decisions.


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